Sharathji teaching in Mysore 01/01/2019-03/31/2019

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Happy Full Moon: Follow The One-Footed Goat

The full moon occurs on Thursday, September 19th in the nakshatra of Purva Bhadrapada, a set of two bright stars that exist within the constellation of the pegasus.  This constellation is a culmination of Jupitarian energy. Jupiter is a benefic planet and is called the great Guru because he has the most moons or most disciples. He creates expansion on a deeply spiritual level while increasing wealth and philosophy.

Purva Bhadrapada in Sanskrit means the auspicious foot. It is symbolized by the two front legs of a funeral cot or bed, a sword and a two faced man.

The funeral cot or bed represents our exit from this material world. It is closely tied to the idea that sleep is a temporary form of death. Deep dreamless sleep grants us the ability to subconsciously see our true unitive selves. This concept is illistrated in the deep sleep state that exists in the third syllable of AUM which is called Prajna.

The sword is affiliated with the ability to cut things off, indicating that death is necessary for rebirth.

Purva Bhadrapada is also considered a two faced man. One face is serene and the other is full of rage. This represents how human nature can be two fold. We can put on a front of happiness even when our true character is strewn with demons.

Purva Bhadrapada is ruled by the diety Aja Ekapada, “the one footed goat”.  He is part of the entourage of Rudra, The God of Storms. Rudra is one of the fiercest forms of Shiva and has a destructive nature. Thus Aja Ekapada is associated with black magic and card #15, the Devil, in the western Tarot pack. However, in the Vedic perspective the negative destruction that this nakshatra can create is eventually divinely ordained.

Aja Ekapada is a transport vehicle for Agni the God of fire. Agni helps transform what has fallen into decay into life and vitality. We also have the transformative energy of Yajamana Vdyamana Shakti on our side. This energy has the power to raise a spiritual person up in life.

Face your demons and burn them up to uplift humanity. This a time of great change. Embrace it. Remember we are all humans, but we need to strive to be better ones.


Practice for Everyone; Raksha Bandhan and Full Moon in Dhanishta

The full moon occurred late last night on Tuesday, August 20th 4 degrees in Aquarius and in the Nakshatra of Dhanishta. Dhanishta means “wealthy” or “famous” and is ruled by Mangala or Mars and the 8 Vasus or the Gods that rule natural phenomena. This lunar sign is symbolized by a flute or drum. Krishna orchestrates the world through his flute and Shiva manages the world through his Damru or drum. Therefore, Dhanishta is an instrument of God that unifies all beings. It gives us adaptability, strength and overall benevolence. The energy of Dhanishta and Aquarius gives us the confidence and drive to work together toward the greater good of humanity.

This particular full moon falls on the Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan. This day sisters honor their brothers by tying a Rakhi or silk thread around their wrists. The sacred thread reinforces the bond between siblings and represents unconditional love and protection. The Rakhi has been used throughout history to unify communities and ease social tensions. It is even said that Rajpat and Maratha Queens sent the Munghal Kings Rakhis to prevent them from invading their land.

Rasksha Bandhan and the planetary influence of Dhanishta is another reminder that we are integral pieces of a greater whole. Meaning that we all share energy in this world. That is why in our yoga practice it is important to remember that we don’t just practice for ourselves. The stability that the asana practice brings to our lives gives us the ability to be more tolerant, generous, loving and understanding people in the world. Unfortunately this message can get a little skewed in a modern day yoga world that advertises classes labeled as hot bootie, shredded ab, sculpt flow.

We need to remember that the real reason we stay disciplined and dedicated to our practice is because we need to move beyond the selfish ego and offer up our better selves to the world. In the practice of Ashtanga yoga we remind ourselves of this fact at the end of every practice by chanting the Mangala Mantra which ends with:


Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings be happy and free and may our thoughts and actions contribute to that happiness and freedom for all.


The Coiled Serpent: New Moon in Aslesha

On August 6th the new moon occured in Cancer creating a new cycle of compassion and deeper intuition. Cancer is ruled by the moon which helps us to access innate knowledge. We often mistake this intuition for our emotions. If we are brave enough to experience her truth, the moon can take us beyond our emotions into deeper awareness.

According to Vedic astrology this new moon occurs in the Nakshatra of Aslesha, the coiled snake of kundalini. Aslesha is called the entwiner and is ruled by Mercury, our lower practical mind. The snake’s nature is to hide and in yogic philosophy it hides and the base of the spine in Muladhara Chakra, our base chakra or nerve plexus that dictates our feelings about our own physical survival.

The coiled snake of Kundalini is a consciousness energy reservoir that can be activated through bandhas, breathing, dristi (gaze) and movement. The word Kundalini is comprised of two root words: Kundala meaning coiled and Kunda meaning a pit. Once it is activated and guided in the correct direction kundalini energy can provide tremendous illumination, awakening energy nexuses throughout the body leading us further down the path of self understanding and truth.

During my last trip to India, I met with my Ayurveda Teacher, Dr. Madan Kumar, and we discussed the concept of kundalini. He said the idea of the coiled snake was too archaic for a modern society that yearns for factual scientific evidence. He said that recent studies have shown that kundalini is in fact an energy reservoir created by “controlling your natural reflexes”.

The more I contemplated and researched what he said I found myself discovering that he meant constantly controlling sympathetic nervous system response. In physical yoga the practitioner puts himself in scenarios that would generally cause a fight or flight response (in a normal person) because of the challenging, fear invoking nature of the exercises. However Hatha Yoga provides the tools of bandha (particularly Mula Bandha, the contraction of the PC muscle), dristi (gaze), and even breathing, that allows the practitioner to control and suppress the sympathetic nervous system response. This maintains the energy that would normally be exuded from the body in the form of adrenaline and other stress hormones. We can then guide this storehouse of energy up through the chakra system awakening the more enlightened nerve plexuses which will allow us to enter into a higher state of consciousness, unconditional love, presence and peace.

We must pay close attention to steady the mind and body this moon cycle so we can correctly direct Aslesha’s energy. Take time to observe your thoughts and emotions in a detached manner. This way, as the waxing moon pervades, we can tangle our hearts in pure unconditional love so compassion and kindness pervades.